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Naming Conventions & Core Cleanup: Your Thoughts

MarkMark Vanilla Staff
edited January 2010 in Vanilla 2.0 - 2.2
Todd and I have been talking about doing some housekeeping to the core application. Many of the classes in the core are currently prefixed with "Gdn_". This is, of course, done to avoid name clashes with classes from other libraries. The "Gdn_" is intended to mean "Garden".

There are a number of classes that have not yet adopted this naming convention throughout Garden, and NONE of the convenience functions in library/core/functions.*.php use this convention. The functions pose a big problem as you get into things like including an external application's templates in a Vanilla template (or vice versa).

It has also been bugging us that Vanilla is the product, and Garden isn't really understood by very many people. We'd like to get rid of the name Garden altogether, and just call the product Vanilla, change the garden application name to "Dashboard", change all functions, class names, and table names to be prefixed with "vn" instead of "Gdn_", and change the GitHub repo to be located at something more like

Obviously this is a huge set of changes, but we feel that these are extremely important changes to make before (a) more people adopt the code and start developing with it, and (b) an official release of Vanilla 2 comes out.

We'd like to know what the community developers (you guys!) think before we take any action.


  • lucluc ✭✭
    edited January 2010
    With the logo being vanilla, and being the main application, that's sure that having the Garden name around is only causing understanding issues.

    Being,"powered by vanilla", and all.

    If vanilla becomes the framework, the forum part will need to be renamed.
  • MarkMark Vanilla Staff
    @bean - not necessarily - we could keep the forum application named vanilla, I think. I considered renaming it to "forum" briefly - but that just seemed silly :)
  • lucluc ✭✭
    edited January 2010
    Well, the conversation part (private messaging) is called conversations, maybe it, the forum part, can be renamed to discussions.

    Because I think, otherwise, there will still be some confusion after renaming garden->vanilla.
  • MarkMark Vanilla Staff
    @bean - you might be right. Food for thought, definitely.
  • Are you intending to release Garden as a proper framework or not?
  • As long as "Vanilla" remains a module of a greater framework there will be confusion as to what's what, in my opinion. So I agree with the naming changes @bean suggested.
  • LincLinc Vanilla's Bard (and Director of Development) Detroit Vanilla Staff
    I like calling the overall "Vanilla" and the forum app part "Discussions" for clarity's sake. That way you could essentially download Vanilla as your user framework and just disable "Discussions" if you're not using it as a forum. Makes sense to me, anyway.

    Vanilla 2: More than just a forum. :)
  • ^ What he said... Call the framework "Vanilla" and the forum application "Discussions". No confusion.
  • Okay, now I'm new to Vanilla - considering using it when the final v2 comes out.

    Here's my opinion, nevertheless:
    Having looked through various concepts and upgrades, I suggest the following. As most of you can see - things are starting to look like a social network. Go to your profile - it reminds me of Facebook. So, why not have the following: Garden as the framework, Vanilla as the platform, and then 'discussions', 'private conversations', 'image galleries' and so forth added to the platform... It seems like it's headed in that direction.

    Do you think that might work? For all you know, Garden could become extremely popular among the masses.
  • @MichaelAnthony - I think that adds a layer of unnecessary confusion. From a marketing standpoint, adding "Garden" to the mix seems like a lot of extra effort with no real payoff. People are already familiar with the name Vanilla... Which is less confusing:
    When you download the "Vanilla" framework, it comes setup as a forum with the "Discussions" application enabled.
    When you download the "Garden" framework, it comes setup as a forum with the "Vanilla" application enabled. Huh?
  • @MBZ : I see - well at least that's cleared up now. But what are your thoughts of the small 'social networking' idea (that's slightly in place already)?
  • MarkMark Vanilla Staff
    Thanks to everyone for chiming in here.

    It sounds like everyone is more concerned with clarity than with any issues that developers who have branched the code might encounter when we make these changes. Is that correct? If so, I think we should probably just go ahead and do it. A little clarity can go a long way when you're dealing with code :)
  • LincLinc Vanilla's Bard (and Director of Development) Detroit Vanilla Staff
    Branched code issues? Bah. What's a little GitHub challenge between developers? ;) Clarity ftw.
  • SS ✭✭
    edited January 2010
    @Mark @Todd

    I like name Garden, and prefix Gdn_ ... I'm using Garden for developing applications for company where I'm working... and I like it. Dont want to change anything.

    If you decide to rename, imho, "Vn" is more sympathetic than "vn"

    Actually, I dont understand the problem (probably my English is no so good) - change name, prefixes, etc. that "many people will understand correctly" what? Send these people to link :p
  • So i assume there are no plans to have garden as a standalone framework then.
  • MarkMark Vanilla Staff
    @minisweeper, @Immersion - We still want to release it as a framework, we're just considering calling the framework Vanilla.
  • To be honest - I quite like the idea of having Garden is the framework, off which apps can be developed off it. Vanilla is a great name for the forum software. If you were to make Vanilla the framework, then what would the forum software be called?
  • I´m slightly tending to Framework Vanilla > App Discussions, App Conversations, etc.
    PRO: Vanilla is a nice name for a plain-vanilla framework and app names are clear as well.
    CON: I liked the question I remember from the beginning: "What´s growing in your garden?" Also I do think there will always be people who misunderstand something ... even the difference between Vanilla and Discussions ;-)

    Great work, you guys are doing here!
  • I think you should go through with this, I mean it confused me alot. Just make it Vanilla! Ftw! Vanilla: What sauce are you having?
  • However if the framework ever picks up (which to me almost seems like the more useful product, as i have really no need for a forum) then having it called vanilla will be a mess. "Im writing a script for vanilla that does x...the forum or the framework?", "Have you tried out vanilla...". I really love the naming of Garden and vanilla, however i think you should split them in a way. Like the new expression engine is built on codeigniter, there are no problems with peoples understanding. As if your on the expression engine site you know that your talking about the blog and if your on codeigniter then its the framework. Currently you have categories such as Vanilla 2 & Garden, which can confuse people.

    Telling people i made this new application based on a forum script sounds very, well, hacky. Saying you built it off a framework that is also used to build Vanilla sounds a lot more stable.
  • I'm late in on this one... I think as you have already dropped the "Garden" brand it should be dropped from the codebase. I like what @bean suggested, and rename the Vanilla application to Discussions... Adds clarity IMO!

    I also wouldnt worry too much about breaking changes at the moment - its not even had an "official" release yet so I guess people expect it.
  • @Mark, that's a great idea.
    @bluecircle - dully noted and agreed.
    Vanilla, vn_ -> Apps --> Discussions -> Conversations -> ?

    Keep it "Vanilla" Mark! ;)
  • I agree with calling the framework Vanilla, but given that, surely this app should be called "Forums" and not "discussions". What are your URLs? and Looks to me you'd need to change those to - of course, if you are happy to change the URLs, then go ahead and call the app "Discussions" ;)

    Also, even if you call it Discussions, you know people will call it "forum" anyway...
  • But c'mon... "Discussions" is just so much more web 2.0"ish" isn't it?!

    I think the only thing here that would really confuse me, if I didn't know any better, was the difference between a discussion and a conversation.
  • @Roguefoxx that's yet another reason to use "Forums" ;)
  • edited January 2010
    While we are on the topic of cleaning up the code base. May I also suggest that we clean up some of the function names.

    I was really surprised to see files such as this:

    The function names used in this file, are in direct violation of the coding standards and practices you guys set yourselves:

    Not to mention some of the functions lack PHPDoc comments.
  • MarkMark Vanilla Staff
    edited January 2010
    @fredwu - Any class that implements Gdn_IPlugin uses underscores in method names as special characters that help the plugin manager identify when and how to execute that method. It's not a case of not following the standards, it is a case of the documentation not indentifying the exception to the rule. Thanks for noticing, though - I'll update the doc.

    The whole reason for this discussion is to figure out inconsistencies and fix them. Vanilla 2 hasn't even been released yet, so if you find that things are incomplete (comments, documentation, even classes with @todo's), we are working on it. If you want to get involved and help out, please do!
  • Thanks for the response @Mark.

    Actually, yes, I do intend to get involved and help out. :)
  • MarkMark Vanilla Staff
    Awesome! I updated the standards document, btw :)
  • Is "Forums" too general? You know, like "SciFi"...

    I like Discussions as much as anything, but then again, I liked the Garden/Vanilla combo.
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